Updated on July 17, 2021
Iowa registration is required even though your license plates may still be valid in another state, so if you move to the Hawkeye Sate you have to get your Iowa tags within 30 days. If you’re just moving from one county in Iowa to another one in the same state, you have 10 days to report your new address to the county treasurer so your tags info can be forwarded to the right county.
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Motorcycles also must be registered in Iowa. There are no safety inspections or VIN verifications required. If you’re looking to purchase a motorbike from a private seller who doesn’t have the title to the bike, the seller must get a duplicate title first then transfer it over to you so you can get your tags. Keep reading for specifics on Iowa registration and tags renewal.
Iowa Vehicle Registration Renewal Guide
How to Renew a Car Registration in Iowa
The Department of Transportation (DOT) of Iowa will mail a renewal notice for your vehicle registration before the current one expires. When your vehicle needs to be renewed depends on its original registration month.
This notice will include information about your vehicle, a PIN for online renewal, and instructions for payment. The state of Iowa allows you to register your vehicle one month before or one month after your expiration date with no late fee required.
After a month passes, you will be charged a monthly late fee of either 5% of the renewal fee or $5, depending on which is higher, until you renew the registration.
Vehicle registration can be completed either in person or by mail using your local Iowa DOT treasurer’s office. There are several counties that allow you to renew your tags online. If you live in one of these counties you have the option of renewing online:
Online Registration Renewal Options in Iowa
You will need to have your license plate number, your PIN, and your payment to renew online. If you do not have your PIN you may use the registration audit number which is on your receipt from your last renewal. To renew in person you will need to have your renewal notice and your payment.
Iowa Replacement Registration Process
Driving a vehicle in the state of Iowa requires valid state license plates, certificate of registration and validation stickers. Like any state, Iowa has its own departments that process vehicle registration requests.
These items and their replacements are issued by the Iowa Department of Transportation or DOT, and the Iowa County Treasurer’s Office. So, in order to meet Iowa state requirements, you must ensure all registration is up to date. The Iowa County Treasurer’s Office has multiple locations across the state.
Most Iowa replacement registration requests must be completed in person during regular business hours. You will want to contact your local County Treasurer’s Office to get county specific hours.
Replacement Car Registration (Certificate of Registration)
A valid car registration is required in order to operate a vehicle in Iowa state. The registration certificate is a document that details the car’s vital information including the VIN, vehicle description, and date the vehicle was registered. Iowa drivers are required to show this certificate as proof of registration as requested by law enforcement.
If the certificate of registration is not provided, the driver could receive stiff penalties as a result.
Iowa Duplicate Registration Request for Certificate of Registration Replacement
Replacement car registration documents are requested in person. All vehicle requests that do not involve new personalized license plates are handled through the Iowa County Treasurer’s Office. Services and hours vary by county, so visit your local County Treasurer’s office web page to get contact information and office hours.
County information can be found at the Iowa Department of Transportation website as well. Identification and a completed application will be required for any duplicate registration requests.
Replacing a Lost, Stolen or Damaged License Plate In Iowa
Operating a vehicle legally in Iowa requires two valid license plates attached to the exterior of the vehicle. Drivers are required to place one plate on the front of the car and the other on the back. Fines and penalties may be incurred if the plates are damaged and destroyed beyond clear identification.
You will need to request replacements immediately if your license plates are damaged, missing or have been stolen.
Iowa Replacement Registration Fees
The standard fee for replacing Iowa license plates is $5 for each set.
Returning Your Old Iowa License Plate
What do I do with my lost or damaged license plate in Iowa?
Damaged and destroyed plates do not need to be returned. To receive a replacement car registration plate or duplicate plate you must visit your local Iowa County Treasurer’s Office.
If you are replacing only one plate, you must bring the remaining plate with you at registration. You will need identification as well as information on the car. You will also need the following vehicle information:
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
- Vehicle make.
- Vehicle model.
- Vehicle type.
- Vehicle color.
Please note, identification will be required for any replacements.
Replacing a License Plate Sticker In Iowa
Vehicle stickers are required on every Iowa license plate. Iowa stickers include month and year of sticker expiration.
Replacement vehicle registration is available if you have lost or misplaced your license decals. Be sure to apply for replacement car registration as soon as possible to avoid fraud and additional fees. You can apply for and receive replacement stickers at your local County Treasurer’s Office location.
Replacing Your Iowa Vehicle Registration or IA License Plate
Whether you have a damaged registration card, or your plates were stolen, the process of receiving a replacement vehicle registration is relatively simple.
Provide proof of identity and the vehicle information and you will have no issues getting exactly what you need. Some services not detailed here may be completed by mail or online. Contact your local County Iowa Treasurer’s Office for more information on how to replace your vehicle registration.
Request all duplicate registration immediately to avoid additional fees.